tv ABC7 News at 4 ABC December 11, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm EST
we said character witnesses the final one was officer william porter's own mother. helena. she got up on the stand to say her son is a good guy and that he is known as a peace-maker. outside of court, she expect want to talk to us, didn't want her face to be shown either. but veteran defense attorneys who have been watching the trial say that mother has reason to smile about how the case is going on. >> i don't see where the state has convinced anyone beyond a reasonable doubt that not belting anymore when it wasn't his responsibility is reflected callous with regard for the life of freddie gray. brad: so when we come back at 5:00, we will tell you more about the details of the case. more about the question of what happens next and what happens in the city once the
verdict is rendered. that is coming up at 5:00, in baltimore, brad bell, abc7 news. jonathan: thank you. court watchers already have the verdicts established. they watch and weigh the testimony. joining us is cofounder of schaefer and trotter. you have been watching the case. this is no slam dunk. >> it's not. it's a heart-breaking case. the prosecution has a tough job. there is a lot of evidence but it may not go for a full conviction on all hour counts. he may be acquitted or the jury may decide to go for one of the lesser included offenses. jonathan: what have you seen so far to lean toward the smoking gun of getting this officer off as opposed to sending him away? >> they are saying there were two things he did wrong. he didn't buckle freddie gray up and he didn't call for medical attention. yet, there are so many facts we don't know about what occurred in the van, that
leaves a real question in the jury's mind. jonathan: this was the video introduced in court. you can see they are not throwing them around. they are gingerly taking him along and putting him in the back. they didn't throw him in the back of the van. the officer said why didn't you take him to the hospital when he was requested to go to the hospital? his response is he asked to go in the previous arrests to avoid going to jail. did it weight in the mind of jurors? might they say this is crying wolf? >> certainly. we had testimony yesterday about the former veteran of the baltimore police department now the chief of police in virginia and said it was reasonable what the officer did in the circumstance. not to buckle him or call for medical assistance at this point. jonathan: so this is the first of many officer goes on trial. after this, is it fair to say that it will be even that much more difficult to find an impartial difficult? >> i don't think so. there is a discussion of that because of the riots and the things that happened, would
they find a fair jury in the community but they did. so the fact they have had the first case to give the tactics and the evidence if for other five officers in their case. so it works to the benefit to have the case in the order they are prosecuted. jonathan: thank you for your time. some of you might have just heard about the defense resting in this case by the abc7 text alert. we want all of you to be the first to know when breaking news happens even when we are off the air and you are not in front of your tv. for updates on the freddie gray case or breaking news, subscribe to the breaking news text alert at wjla.com/text. alison? alison: thank you. moving on to other news of the day now. this was a startling find. a man found dead in an upscale d.c. hotel room. but how he died is still a mystery. this is more than a month later. but with ties to the kremlin
and russian president vladimir putin, stephen tschida reports that speculation in russian media is running rampant. stephen: a body found in a luxury suite atop the dupont circle hotel puzzled the investigators initially. they had a problem identifying the body. a source close to the investigation said hotel staff told police they had seen the man drinking heavily in the bar. >> that is unfortunate and sketchy. stefs the death of the russian billionaire, and confydant of president vladimir putin has little impact locally. >> i have not heard of it, no. stephen: thousands of miles away as seen in the headlines on the internet the case is capturing a lot of attention and sparking speculation of foul play. the russian media are rife with theories of murder. to some even asserting the f.b.i. may have done him in. the russian immigrant says she understands why. >> i'm sure they are spinning int however putin would like us to spin it.
>> one reason for the wild speculation, an investigation which is dragging on. the lack of a cause of death. >> it's vague. mike packer is among the locals wondering what happened november 5 and he is asking why is it taking the medical examiner so long? >> autopsy? conduct a proper autopsy you would find out. >> protecting what the medical examiner today and we are learning they are still awaiting results of tests, including toxicology. as far as the investigation in the cause and the nature of the death, d.c. police say there is nothing new yet. alison: the house passed a five-day spending member to
avoid a shutdown. congress faces deadline tonight to get a deal up and running but it has been pushed back until wednesday night. jonathan: in a move that was expected the university system of maryland now and board of regents voted to change the name of the football stadium in college park. byrd stadium is now maryland stadium. named after the former coach. he was known a segregationist as well. alison: so by now you have heard this. this weekend will be about as perfect as it can get. unusual warmth means we will be heading outdoors. our chief meteorologist doug hill is at the rosslyn holiday market. how dis it feel? doug: it's like springtime. we are at gateway park in rosalyn across key bridge.
this is interesting. gateway park is divided in the western side and the eastern side. here on the eastern side of the park, local merchants and the companies set up here. bazaar. b-a z, not b-i-z. bazaar. they have food, band fire, music, bands. fun way to spend friday evening. weather is not a problem. look at the forecast through the evening and the overnight hours. we are going to see mostly clear skies. the temperatures are only going to drop in 50's. so many places the it's only slightly lower than the average temperatures. the temperatures that are warm for us, are average that folks in the jackson, florida, enjoy every december. so enjoy the sunshine here. steve rudin will have more
details to see if there is a sign of any cold air coming our way anytime soon. gateway park in rosslyn, back to you. jonathan: morning commute that was a might mare. one person kill and three others hurt. crash on the wellson bridge. they are trying to figure out what went wrong. jeanette reyes takes us inside the investigation. jeanette: traffic is moving along better now after the fatal and the horrific accident this morning. look behind me. it's better. earlier today there was a fatality. this involved four cars on the inner loop in the express lanes. four people were trapped in two cars. i took a while but they were extricated by the firefighters. one of those people ended up
dying. a lot of the backup we saw is rubber necking. people on the outer loop wanting to see what was going on. if you were headed this way on the outer loop, people were as curious to see what is going on. one person dead as a result of the horrific accident. reporting live, jeanette reyes, abc7 news. alison: we have an update now on a high profile murder. this past summer in d.c. police arrested a second person in connection with the shooting death of an american university graduate. andre dudley is charged with second-degree murder. matthew was shot to death outside the shaw howard metro stop in august. he was not the ended target. jonathan: now for the latest on the war on terror. drivers continue searching a lake in san bernardino, california, for a second day. they are looking for evidence discarded by the couple who killed 14 people and wounded
21 others. they believe syed farook or his wife tashfeen malik may have tossed a hard drive in the water. in the meantime the former neighbor said he and farook had planned an attack earlier. maybe 2012. but they abandoned that attack. >> there had been arrests adjacent to that. by the counterterrorism people causing this hem to rethink it. jonathan: authorities say enrique marquez gave the pair the assault rifles used in the massacre. marquez is in custody and the f.b.i. says he is cooperating with the investigators. alison: still to come here on "abc7 news at 4:00" -- drones might be a popular gift out there for the holiday. but how many close calls have we seen so far at airports? that story is next.
alison: seat belts kept more than a dozen children safe when the school bus crashed this morning on the edsall road branch to southbound 395 in springfield. 14 children from the school of children which is a private school in arlington were all on board. jonathan: close calls between drones and helicopters or planes from 2013 to september. according to the center for the study of drones. the new york city city area saw most close calls.
hopefully no close calls on the road. jamie: this is 95 headed southbound. there is a nine-mile backup. at white marsh boulevard three lanes are blocked. let's look. we have a picture in the area. this while the clean-up is underway this is blocked off. you can get through but they are not usable. move to the live look outside to show what we have on the beltway. near river road. you can see the inner loop and the outer loop is bumper to bumper. normal congestion moving to the map. in this area we drop in the teens. 66 southbound from the capital beltway to fairfax.
that will take 20 minutes. in d.c. now. river road northwest at 48 street. lights are flashing so treat as a four-way stop. alison: let's talk about the weather. everybody is talking about it. unbelievable. we are in the belfort furniture weather center. the temperature is 65 degrees. nice sunshine. the sun will set in another half hour or so. the temperatures will tumble fast. in the 50's and the 60's. the middle 60's across much of the area. 63 at bwi marshall. 59 in frederick. look at stanton, virginia. 71 degrees.
we could see areas of fog. we will see the skies clearing out with a nice amount of sunshine. the temperatures are above average this time of year. night time lows, 41 to 52. lows for tonight. the patchy fog will develop. 48 tomorrow morning heading out the door to grab coffee. 64 degrees. 4:00 in afternoon. 60's close to 70. lower 60's on wednesday. it's upper 50's on thursday. it doesn't feel like the middle of december it looks like it in rosslyn. head over to the chief meteorologist doug hill at the
rosslyn market. doug: this is a crazy thing. the middle of december. outdoor market and food stand. it's like it's september. we have been walking around to encounter teresa. making cold juices. the first thing that struck me last year at this time there was three inches of snow in rosslyn. you don't get to do it in december often. we provide raw organic cold fresh juices. happy to be here. we had a good turn-out. doug: thank you. this is striking. we have the above average temperatures but they will continue. we keep an eye on things from here at gateway park and see if we can be here at 6:00 when
they start the bonfire. off fort meyer drive. back to you. jonathan: thank you. this is perfect for the twitter poll. if you feel like the holiday season is missing something. maybe the wintry weather. no hint of snow. do you really miss it? take the twitter poll. wjla.com. we'll share results with you in a half hour. do you think we should have snow on the ground or is this fine? >> are you getting calls from people saying they miss the snow? steve: whatever the season. people are not happy. we can deal with it for now. one week at a time. jonathan: if it was snow their back hurt from the shoveling. steve: or my back hurt from shopping. it will always snow again. alison: coming up next at "abc7 news at 4:00" --
alison: an alarming figure, the number of young men and women becoming foreign fighters in support of isis doubled in the last year and a half. according to a group that monitors the activity. once they go to siree or iraq is there any chance they can be saved? one man says yes. that is because he has done that. scott thuman went to belgium to find out how he did that. this is a preview of the sunday's "full measure" show. tell us about the incredible story. scott: this is fascinating. dimitri bonntick whose son with a catholic upbringing radicalized and joined terror group inside syria. until he went to get him back. >> what did they do to you? >> took all my clothes off.
took me upstairs. beat me. because they suspect me to respond. >> beating you, torturing you, questioning you. >> yes. >> the whole time you are just trying to find your son. >> father looking for my son. >> no boundary in the mind of dimitri when it came to saving his son. the first trek inside syria turned up nothing, on the second they were reunited. the teenager turned jihadi had a change of heart and ready to return home. after intense negotiations he says they were allowed to go. scott: the day you got him out of syria and across the border, and you are in safely. what is the feeling? the first moments i know we were safe i hold him like a small baby. we were both crying. emotional moment.
scott: but that was hardly the end. he was about to engage in a new life providing new hope for parents of other foreign fighters. he would risk it all to help bring others back home. >> i risk my life every time. they know what i'm doing. trying to take him out. scott: how successful is he? we'll have that and hear the interview. captivating story. alison: incredible story of a father's determination and love. scott: you will be surprised when you learn how many times he has gone back. alison: we look forward to that. jonathan: coming up for us at "abc7 news at 4:00" -- changes atop the prince george's county police department. the shakeup. we will tell you about it
for speeding in d.c. brianne carter is here to explain. what is behind this? are they that short of money? brianne: it depends on your thought on this. this is a vision zero going on in d.c., broader effort here. this sul a about what you are doing on the road. if you decide not to stop making a right turn on red, that could cost you. if you don't yield to people walking through a crosswalk, this could cost you. this is initiative to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities which is zero by 2024. the vision zero initiative. we understand that this proposed rule making change caused for fines and increase fines for traffic violation. another propose change if you are caught speeding in a safe zone outside recreation or a senior center it will cost you
$100. if you strike a bicyclists it's now $500. if you park, stop or stand in a bike lane that could cost you $200. what do people in d.c. think? >> it's possible. i don't know if that is the main motivation. that could happen. brianne: other people say it's too much to ask for this amount of money for those offenses. coming up here at 5:00, what triple-a has to say and how you can get a chance to weigh in. reporting live, brianne carter, abc7 news. jonathan: thanks. now to a "7 on your side" consumer alert about slamming. that is when a different phone company takes over the phone account without asking permission. alison: "7 on your side" consumer investigator kimberly suiters takes us to a business that realize something was wrong when the calls stopped
coming in. kimberly: it's not the most wonderful time of the year for the phone to stop ringing. >> we were basically closed to the world. my vendors couldn't get in touch with me. kimberly: for 34 years he had a business line with verizon until last month. customers couldn't call and he couldn't run a single credit card. >> they told me i had been slammed. another provider put in an order to transfer my service to them. without my knowledge or permission. kimberly: if you have been slammed there is a risk of recommendations. none helped him. they say if you have been slammed call the slamming company to tell them you don't want their service. >> impossible to do. i don't know who it is. kimberly: when you asked verizon who took over your account did they tell you who took it over? >> verizon hasn't been able to tell me or won't tell me. kimberly: they recommend you call the authorized company to tell them you want to be switched back. >> well were out for 28 days.
kimberly: 28 days on the phone for an hour every day with verizon. until te made one call, "7 on your side." second call to the virginia state corporation commission in richmond. >> three hours later my problem was solved. kimberly: the spokesman william erby said his complaint is one of 2,000 filed every year. the customer still doesn't know what company slammed him. why can't he find out? >> we can find out and tell him. kimberly: we also reached a spokesperson for verizon who is also looking into what went wrong and whether green will be compensated for thousands in lost sales. at what is supposed to be the business' best time of the year. in arlington, kimberly suiters, abc7 news. alison: all right. "7 on your side" will let you know the rest of the story as soon as we get it. if your landline complaint is in maryland or d.c. call the public service commission. jonathan: police are still looking for the man who
stabbed a woman near potomac yard this morning. the attack happened around midnight on mount vernon avenue. the injuries are not life threatening. the helicopter was brought in to search for the suspect but he was not found. >> the latest crime at sunoco in fairfax. he pulled a gun, demanded cash and ran off once he got it. nine robberies they are investigating. jonathan: shakeup atop the prince george east county police department. mark magaw announced he is retiring and he could be the next head of safety replacing barry stanton. so coming up at 5:00, our mike carter-conneen takes inside the decision to make changes in prince george east. alison: protest continue in chicago. demonstrators calling for mayor rahm emanuel to re-sign for his handling of the police involved shooting that left a
teen dead and officer charged with murder. the calls for the resignation have grown louder each day. >> marching through chicago, the frustration echoing through the streets. today calling for change and accountability in the chicago police department. and for mayor rahm emanuel to re-sign. the outcry sparked by the shooting death of donilon last year by a white police officer. his family coming forward publicly for the first time joining those questioning how the case was handled. saying it took too long for the video to be released and raising concerns a year passed before the officer jason van dyke was charged with murder.
>> what we are feeling in chicago is the feeling of america themselves. injustice toward people of color. >> following the release of two other videos of police misconduct, rahm emanuel apologized and promised systemic changes. >> i take responsibility for what happened. because it happened on my watch. >> but no forgiveness. petition circulating to unseat rahm emanuel. >> we have communities that are blighted. no reform. we are calling for vote of nonconfidence for the mayor. reporter: they are calling for the resignation of the cook county state attorney and release of video from of the 2013 police involved shooting. jonathan: i want to update you on a story we brought you yesterday. runaway train in boston. they are looking to operator error when a redline subway train headed to the city with the passengers. except the conductor wasn't on
board. he was still on the platform doing who knows what? that man is on leave. >> it looks like donald trump is not the only one considering an independent bid for the white house. ben carson planning to diss the party. he said he is not happy they are going to have a convention that is a brokered one. it is possible that the republicans could head in the convention without a nominee. he doesn't like that. jonathan: in the meantime, former democratic candidate for president martin o'malley visited a mosque in sterling virginia where he continued to criticize donald trump's plan to ban muslims coming to the united states. >> donald trump and his language is not what america is about. jonathan: trump >> outlined his plan earlier in week hasn't taken a hit in the recent polls.
the g.o.p. primary voters are still split on the issue. changing gear. bizarre animal control issue. they rescued 56 snakes from an apartment. let that sink in. they said they were dehydrated. the conditions were so bad three of the snakes had to be put down. i imagine thigh are up for adoption so they are probably a good stocking stuffer. >> unbelievable story. alison: i'm not sure how you feel about snakes but maybe something cuter. once orphaned siberian tiger started a family of her own. cinderella rehabilitated and fitted with a tracking device
before being placed in the wild a couple of years ago and spotted at a nature reserve in russia. only 500 of the siberian tigers live in the wild. jonathan: gorgeous animals. clubs playing with mom. let's go. okay. [honking] oh, the holiday season parking crunch. don't you love it? did you know there is a right and a wrong way to pull in a parking spot? most of us are doing it wrong. we have the right answer and the safety risks you run if you do it the other way up next. alison: plus, he ran 100 miles for 100 children fighting cancer. now the northern virginia man known as tattoo tom is doubling down. we have an effort for him to raise more money still ahead.
right and wrong way of doing this. that is good to know. but david curly shows us the right way to park. >> it's the season to pack malls and the mall parking lot. it can be dangerous. cars backing out. [hopping] a.a.a. says this morning most of us are parking the wrong way. 75% of us pulling into a spot. the problem we have to back out and that can be dangerous for pedestrians. every year parking backing out of a parking space or driveway kill 200 people and injure 15,000. >> i'll try to back in with this space. you are telling me this is the right way. >> this is the right way to park. >> backup cameras and sensors can help drivers. but a.a.a. says its tests showed that the technology doesn't always work. in its test systems fail to detect passing vehicles 30% of the time and passing bicycles 40%. >> understand your car. never let the technology
replace you being a safe driver. >> i see somebody right here backing in. just like you want them to do. >> it's great. >> we can do that. >> that was marie backing in. >> you do it all the time? >> i do it most of the time i would say. you know? it's just a good idea. >> of course, this time of the year, finding a parking spot can be the challenge. >> experts say the best tip is to take the first open spot you see. look near less popular stores. or use this mathematician theory. pick an aisle with ten cars on each side and wait. within nine minutes he says someone will come this and leave. >> this model works like surefire. jonathan: the fact that somewhere sat there doing the math exactly nine minutes. nine minutes for people with a.d.d., 99% of us looking for a parking spot you don't want to wait nine minutes. alison: in the city it's harder to back in. if you have people around you.
jonathan: it makes sense. all the near misses. you back out, and horn or someone is walking last minute. they see you backing out but they walk behind you. alison: we have seen the science. jonathan: coming up next at "abc7 news at 4:00", revisiting tattoo tom and the efforts to raise money for families with children battling cancer. great story here. the itempt to outdoor his efforts. that's up next. jonathan: i'm doug hill live above rosslyn gateway park where a holiday market underway. we'll come back to tell you about that and check out the weekend weather when "abc7 news at 4:00
jonathan: you talk about an inspirational man. last year we were there when tom mitchell ran 100-mile race for 100 children battling cancer. this fall the northern virginia man took it to invain level doubling down on the original effort. alison: mitch who is affectionately known as tattoo tom tried to finish a 200-mile race for 200 children with cancer. jay korff journeyed to the mountain surrounding lake
tahoe to see if tattoo tom could do it. >> three, two, un. jay: the hearty souls began the tee 200. one competitor tom mitchell came to the mountain not to run but to make a statement. he runs a foundation that provides nonmedical needs to families whose children are fighting cancer. his daughter died of cancer and he believes the country should invest more money in more humane childhood treatments.
>> but he nearly dropped out. >> this is what it's like for kids with cancer. they want to play with the friends. they want to have their hair. they don't want to have cancer or be able, not to be able to breathe. but they can't quit. right? if they quit, they die. >> he dedicated each mile to a different kid. by day two his feet needed medical treatment. day three the pace was slowing. >> going the right way. >> he came dangerously close to being disqualified for missing eight station cut-off times. the other demon, sleep deprivation. by mile 140 he is hallucinating. >> picture trees and picture bushes. trees and all have the family
portrait of the kids. >> the story of sack ra fise called endure can be seen in entirety on wjla.com. you will see how far a money was willing to go to help children. jay korff, abc7 news. alison: it's called "endure" at wjla.com. the race raised $200,000 for mitchell foundation. money that will go to help the families whose children have cancer. jonathan: he is a warrior. good for him. >> check that out. see the story. jonathan: you may have seen the fans rushing the court after a big win. alison: coming up at 5:00, a cautionary tale for a sports fan before taking that step.
jonathan: plus -- blue eyes. we're ready to celebrate the sinatra centennial. that's coming up. as far as december goes, this could be the best weekend weather we get in a long time. alison: definitely. that is good for us but for anyone with the outdoor activities. can you imagine? go to doug hill. he's at the holiday market. i bet it's a fun place to be. doug: it is. temperatures in the upper 50 to the lower 60's across the area. the band is just starting. local merchants are setting up shop on the western side of the shop. food, beverages, bonfire up there.
we will have sunshine, a few clouds and warm temperatures. highs in the upper 60's in the metro area. this is the splash. is kelly but it's all for a good cause. look at the seven-day. we will have subtle changes. during the day monday a gusty cold front will come through with a chance of the scattered showers but still in the upper 60's. upper 50's behind the front tuesday and wednesday. but thursday and friday, another cold front to bring colder weather. but nothing wintry coming your way at all anytime soon. enjoy it while it lasts. be back. back to you. jonathan: revisiting the twitter poll. are you missing the winter weather this holiday season? alison: it's actually close.
a lot think is a surprise. 45% say the warmer weather is dampening the spirits. majority 55% voted to say the cold, the snow, the ice, stay away. jonathan: if you are missing that, go carol are friends. you can join the conversation. be short like he is. @abc7news. alison: check on the friday getaway commute. >> we are still slow. but if you get to silver spring you get a break. so we are seeing slowing. no crashes. move to the map and focus on what we have. 10 miles per hour is the average. fair fax to centreville. nothing major to worry about.
i'm happy to report no accident on friday. the traffic lights are malfunctioning northwest at 46. back to you. alison: thank you. still waiting for repairs on your apartment? how do get your landlord to speed up the work. that is right i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day.
john: if you or someone live in an apartment and it's falling apart and the landlord won't help? we have an alert for all renters and what to do if you can't get the problem fixed. she is moving out of the apartment after months. on her cell phone photos of water coming down from a light fixture. she dealt with it until the ceiling fell on her daughter's head. >> she was coming in from the balcony area. she came in.
i heard a boom sound and i heard her scream. it fell on her. john: this shows the ceiling. >> the whole area right here. came down. john: if things aren't right, what is your right? you get a landlord to fix things. if he hasn't been responding to your complaint. >> if there is a specific problem, the tenant should put it in writing. >> attorney dan mccartney says if the land lord is unresponsive, send a letter. give them 30 days to fix things. if he doesn't, go to courthouse and ask about withholding rent. a rent escrow. that would have been her next step if she wasn't allowed to move on. holding respect must be done through courtsome. don't simply stop paying respect. landlord can sue you for nonpayment. so you don't waste your money.
>> this police officer was killed by a man who decided to spoke dope, drink for four hours and get behind the wheel of a car. and drastic measures like $1,000 fine for speeding. transportation officials are out to share drivers safe. hoverboard house fire. if you think that it won't catch fire, local fire department has news that could save your life. >> until they take the crime seriously, there is no justice for the families. there is no justice for the victims. alison: so will that emotional plea from montgomery county chief of police lead to changes in how we prosecute drunk drivers? chief majors spoke hours after officer noah leotta died a week after being hit by a driver who police believe was drunk and high.
suzanne kennedy live in wheaton with a look at the call to action. suzanne: well, officer, the chief major saw officer noah leotta, the rising star in the department. that is part of the reason why he stood here yesterday afternoon and said that maryland had some of the weakest drunk driving laws. officer leotta died yesterday from injuries he sustained after he was struck by a drunk driver while he was out looking if motorists operating under the influence. critics say first-time offenders only get a slap on the wrist in maryland, what is called probation report judgment. diversion program that has not been successful according to many. some think mandatory intermission interlock program would be more effective. >> the majority of the states around maryland have what is called ignition interlock devices for defendants. in-car bethizeers. virginia has, delaware has it, west virginia, majority around